PRK or photorefractive keratectomy is a vision correction technique that uses an excimer laser. This procedure allows you to influence the surface layers of the corneal tissue without affecting the internal structures of the eye. This operation is characterized by high accuracy and predictability of results, which makes it safe and gentle for the patient since the recovery period is considered one of the shortest among such techniques.
Over the years of its existence, the technology of PRK eye surgery has been improved, due to which some disadvantages of this method have been eliminated. For example, earlier it was allowed to do the procedure only in one eye, which is not very convenient since the patient had to wait a certain time to make the correction of the second eye. Also earlier, the recovery period was not pleasant enough and was accompanied by serious pain sensations within 3-5 days after the operation. Today, to avoid this, a special contact lens is used, which is put on the eye after the procedure and protects it from external influences. It also reduces the adaptation period and makes it possible to perform PRK surgery on both eyes at once. However, this period is still not as short as with LASIK. It is characterized by slightly more unpleasant pain sensations. Although, the PRK correction has a certain plus, which lies in its price. The cost of PRK eye surgery ranges from $1,800 to $2,800 per eye, compared to $2,200 to $3,200 per eye for LASIK eye surgery.
But despite the fact that the operation is gentle and safe, it is still very important to carefully prepare for it.
Examination before surgery
Before the correction, you will need to undergo a complete diagnosis of the visual system. Particular attention is paid to the condition of the cornea. Its thickness is carefully studied since it is one of the main indicators on which the tolerance for laser correction depends. For such an operation, the patient should not have problems with the cornea, therefore, during the diagnosis, a study is necessarily carried out for the presence of keratoconus and other pathologies. An analysis of optical distortions is also carried out. It helps to choose the optimal method of laser correction. If the patient is recommended personalized vision correction, in this case, a complete picture of visual distortions is compiled in order to correct them. This will allow to predict the operation of the laser unit during the operation in the smallest detail.
If the diagnosis was successful and no contraindications were identified, the patient undergoes a consultation with an anesthesiologist. The doctor will provide a list of necessary tests that will need to be passed before the procedure. When all the tests have been passed, and the studies have been completed, you can get a doctor’s opinion. Based on this conclusion, you may or may not be admitted to the operation. If all is well, the correction will be scheduled for the next possible day.
If you have identified certain contraindications, you will have to postpone the procedure or refuse it completely. They can be absolute or relative.
- Optic nerve atrophy
- Retinal disinsertion
- Keratoconus and other degenerative diseases of the cornea
- Single eye
- Some rare eye diseases
- Advanced diabetes mellitus
- Certain thyroid disorders
- Rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, certain forms of bronchial asthma, AIDS and other systemic diseases
- Some psychological and neurological abnormalities. For example, alcoholism or drug addiction
- Oncological diseases
- Insufficient age of the patient. This is one of the most frequent contraindications. If you want to do laser correction, you will have to wait until you are 18 years old. This is necessary in order for the patient’s vision to become permanent, because PRK laser eye surgery is recommended only when vision has not changed for 2 years. However, the final decision is still made by the doctor, depending on the patient’s individual ostentation.
- Common infectious diseases and eye infections. This is a temporary ban because the infection can get into the cornea and negatively affect recovery after surgery. Also, fever and vasoconstrictor drops can dry out the mucous membrane of the eye, and this can aggravate the dry eye syndrome that often occurs after surgery. Therefore, it will be necessary to first cure the diseases, and then to do PRK eye surgery.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding period. During pregnancy, the hormonal background changes, which can affect the result of the operation, as well as negatively affect the recovery period. The procedure can be done a few months after the completion of breastfeeding.
- Strongly developed cataract or progressive myopia. If you have problems with the lens or intraocular pressure, then you first need to solve them, and then proceed to the operation.
- Inflammation of the eyes
If you have not found any contraindications or all ailments have been eliminated, then the doctor will give you a list of necessary recommendations and requirements.
Recommendations and requirements
- It is necessary to stop wearing soft contact lenses two weeks before the operation, and hard contact lenses one month before
- Do not drink alcohol 3 days before surgery
- A few days before the operation, you will need to stop using cosmetics
- Do not wear perfume on the day of surgery
- On the day of the procedure, it is recommended to wash your hair, as this will not be possible for 3 days after the operation
- On the day of correction, you should thoroughly wash your face and especially your eyes.
- You will need to wear comfortable clothing for the operation or bring it with you
- Do not drive to the operation. It is better that someone brought you and took you away
- It is not recommended to smoke on the day of correction
- If you feel unwell before the procedure, it is better to postpone the operation for a few weeks or until you have fully recovered
PRK laser surgery will help you make your life better and more comfortable. However, this is a rather serious event, for which you need to carefully prepare for everything to go as it should. If you follow all the recommendations of the doctor, then the result of the correction will please you and everyday life will sparkle with new colors.